light the fuse

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light the fuse

To do something that instigates or initiates some intense, dangerous, and widespread action or reaction. Many have accused the leader of lighting the fuse for war with his inflammatory remarks. The law seems poised to light the fuse for protests across the nation should it be passed.
See also: fuse, light

light the fuse

If someone or something lights the fuse, they do something which starts something dangerous or exciting. An outbreak of the virus could light the fuse on the world's next pandemic. This event might have lit the fuse which later led to a depressive breakdown. Note: The fuse referred to here is the type that is used to set off a firework or explosive device.
See also: fuse, light

light the (or a) fuse (or touchpaper)

do something that creates a tense or exciting situation.
The image here is of lighting a fuse attached to gunpowder, fireworks, etc. in order to cause an explosion. A touchpaper , which is used in the same way as a fuse, is a twist of paper impregnated with saltpetre to make it burn slowly.
1998 Times The rejection of global capitalism may light a touchpaper in all those countries battered by the crisis.
See also: fuse, light
References in periodicals archive ?
Lighting the fuse For tourist information, call 01273-471600.
Lighting the fuse For tourist info, see www.australia.com or call 0906- 863 3235.
Lighting the fuse A New Year's party at the four-star Bonham Hotel with two nights' stay and a four-course Hogmanay Dinner before the fireworks costs from pounds 215 a person sharing a double room; call 0131-623 6060.
Lighting the fuse For info, call the Croatia Tourist Office on 020-8563 7979.
Lighting the fuse Two nights' B&B at the three-star Home Plaza Bastille, with Eurostar tickets starts at pounds 211 a person through Thomson Breakaway Cities; see www.thomsonbreakaway.co.uk or call 0870-606 1476.
But check the details on your policy before lighting the fuse. Bonfire night is also the peak time for burglaries.